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Entries in Side Dish (23)


Roasted Sweet Potato Risotto

Sweet potato risotto

We love risotto and always look for new ways to enjoy it, so it's no surprise that I bookmarked this dish as soon as I saw it. Apparently so did my sister-in-law, because she made it as a side dish one night when we went over for dinner, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since. So, a few weeks ago, I opened the recipe and made it as our main dish. It was every bit as delicious as I remembered. While it is somewhat time consuming to make risotto, it is also somewhat therapeutic to stand over the stove after a long day at work and stir it as it starts to come together. I don't know why, maybe I'm just crazy! One note: I've tagged this recipe as vegetarian because you can totally leave out the bacon and it would still be delicious, but bacon is so good, so we went with it!

1 Sweet Potato, peeled and chopped
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon Paprika
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
3 tablespoons Olive OIl
2 tablespoons Butter
1 Shallot, diced
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio Rice
1 1/3 cups Dry White Wine
4 cups Vegetable Stock
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese
4 Bacon Slices, cooked and crumbled (optional, but delicious)
3 tablespoons Chopped Herbs (I used parsley)

In a bowl, combine the sweet potatoes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and paprika, tossing well to coat. Spread the seasoned sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, tossing every 8-10 minutes. Remove and mash until pureed, then set aside. Meanwhile cook the bacon, if using.  Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the butter. Add the shallots and a pinch of salt and cook for 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Increase the heat slightly and add the rice, stirring to coat. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring a few times, until the rice is translucent and begins to toast. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the wine. Continue to stir while the rice absorbs the wine. When most of the wine has been absorbed, add about 1/3 of the vegetable broth. Continue to stir until the stock has been absorbed, then add another 1/3 of the stock. Continue the process until the final 1/3 of stock has been absorbed; about 25 minutes total. (*You may need to add additional stock if your risotto is still chewy, but 4 cups was perfect for us). Reduce the heat to low and stir in the sweet potato puree and parmesan cheese. To serve, place the risotto in a bowl and top with additional cheese, a sprinkling of herbs, and crumbled bacon, if desired. 

SOURCE: Barely adapted from How Sweet It Is


Parmesan Panko Crusted Squash

Parm panko squash

I'm a fan of all things squash. In the summer I try to get my fill of zucchini and yellow squash and once the weather turns cool, I switch to acorn and butternut varieties. I bought a butternut squash last week with the intention of pairing it with some sort of protein, which when I showed Joel my meal plan, he decided it would be fish. Since we knew we would buy the fish the day that we made it, that particular meal got pushed back over a week. Tonight was the night that it finally got made. Joel picked up a piece of swordfish for himself and a few shrimp for me and cooked them both in a butter-herb sauce and we paired it with this squash dish. As we were eating, Joel stated that he was secretly dreading this meal because "fish and squash" just didn't sound that appetizing (can't say I blame him), but after taking the first bite, we were regretting not making it sooner. I think that this mixture of Parmesan, panko, and herbs would be delicious sprinkled on absolutely anything, be it another vegetable or even chicken or fish. I definitely foresee a version of this dish on our table again in the near future!

1 1/2 pounds Butternut Squash, skin on 
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
3 tablespoons Panko Bread Crumbs
5 tablespoons Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
2 teaspoons Fresh Thyme, finely chopped (or 3/4 teaspoon dried)
Zest of 2 Lemons, divided
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil

Cut the squash into 1/3-inch thick slices and spread them out on a baking sheet. In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan, panko, parsley, thyme, half of the lemon zest, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Brush the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture, patting it gently with your hands to be sure it adheres. Roast the squash at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until the squash is fork tender. Sprinkle the squash with the remaining lemon zest. 

SOURCE: Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice


Shaved Asparagus Salad with Bacon and Havarti

Asparagus salad

This month for Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned to Without Adornment, written by the very talented Bean. If you haven't checked out her site yet, please do. Her recipes are all gluten free and her photography (food, people, and landscapes) is phenomenal! The recipe I chose to make was one that she had chosen to make as her SRC pick back in February. I've seen shaved asparagus salads around the many blogs I read, but never made them, so I decided that now was as good a time as any to finally give it a try. The verdict? Well worth the wait! I added the poached egg that was written in the original recipe, and omitted the onions that Bean had added, although I bet they would have been a delicious addition. Either way, I think it would be a perfect side salad for a summer picnic. As for flavor, the tanginess from the dressing really compliments the freshness of the asparagus. Add bacon, egg, and cheese and I am one happy girl! Thanks, Bean, for sharing your recipes and photography!

4 thick slices Bacon
1 pound Asparagus
2 ounces Havarti, shredded
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
3 tablespoons Tarragon or White Wine Vinegar, divided
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
2-4 Eggs
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Cook the bacon in a large pan over medium heat, until crispy (or, use the bacon method, which my husband is obsessed with). Meanwhile, bring a large, deep skillet full of water to a boil. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the asparagus into paper-thin ribbons (I found this difficult, so I just sliced each stalk as thin as I could with a knife). Submerge the asparagus ribbons in the boiling water for 1 minute. Remove the ribbons with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Reduce the heat under the pan of water so that the water steams and moves a bit in the pan but is not at a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to the water. Gently crack the eggs into the pan, working in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding. Let the eggs poach for about 4 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon. In a small dish, whisk together the olive oil with the remaining vinegar and mustard. In a large bowl, combine the asparagus, crumbled bacon, and cheese and coat with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Divide the salad between two plates and top with the poached eggs. 

SOURCE: Without Adornment


Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts: An Edible Mosaic's Virtual Book Launch Party


Bookcover small

I'm excited to share something different with you today. My friend Faith Gorsky, author of the beautiful blog An Edible Mosaic, just released her very first cookbook: An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair. I'm so honored to be participating in her virtual book launch party today, and sharing an awesome recipe from the book with all of you! (Please note, photos are courtesy of Faith.)

The book contains over 100 Middle Eastern recipes, focusing mainly on dishes from the Levant, but it also has a few recipes from other parts of the Middle East. Faith's story is pretty unique. After she got married, she spent six months living in the Middle East, which is where her love for the culture and cuisine began. Since then, she has returned four more times, each time deepening her passion and appreciation for the region…and the cuisine. The recipes in her book are authentic Middle Eastern. Faith's mother-in-law, Sahar, taught her many of the recipes, but Faith streamlined them a bit, making them easier to recreate in the reader's kitchen. Faith explains complicated dishes in an easy-to-follow way. The book is available to order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

After checking out the recipes below, head over to Faith's blog to check out her virtual book launch party and see the other bloggers who are participating. She is also hosting a great giveaway, so be sure to head over to her blog to enter!!

The recipe I am sharing is for Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts, as well as a variation for Mixed White and Yellow Rice (which is the one that I made). The recipe is vegan, so it can be incorporated into a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, but it also pairs well with chicken, lamb, beef, seafood, or any curry dish. I, personally, paired the variation recipe with a baked jalapeño-stuffed chicken breast, which turned out to be a delicious pairing. Faith, congratulations on the cookbook release, and thank you for inviting me to be a part of your launch party!!

Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts

Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts

Recipe courtesy of An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair by Faith Gorsky (Tuttle Publishing; Nov. 2012); reprinted with permission.

Serves 4-6
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes, plus 15 minutes to let the rice sit after cooking

1 1/2 cups (325 g) basmati rice, rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 onion, finely diced
4 tablespoons sultanas (golden raisins)
1 3/4 cups (425 ml) boiling water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads (or 1/2 teaspoon turmeric)

1. Soak the rice in tepid water for 10 minutes; drain. While the rice is soaking, put half a kettle of water on to boil.
2. Add the oil to a medium, thick bottomed lidded saucepan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Transfer the pine nuts to a small bowl and set aside.
3. Add the onion to the saucepan you cooked the pine nuts in, and cook until softened and just starting to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rice and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the sultanas, boiling water, salt, and saffron (or turmeric), turn the heat up to high, and bring it to a rolling boil.
4. Give the rice a stir, then cover the saucepan, turn the heat down to very low, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes (do not open the lid during this time). Turn the heat off and let the rice sit (covered) 15 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
5.Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle the toasted pine nuts on top; serve.
OPTIONAL Add two pods of cardamom, two whole cloves, and one 2-inch (5 cm) piece of cinnamon stick at the same time that you add the rice.

Mixed White and Yellow Rice

VARIATION: Mixed White and Yellow Rice

Serves 4 to 6
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes, plus 15 minutes to let the rice sit after cooking

1½ cups (325 g) uncooked basmati rice, rinsed
2 tablespoons oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
2 whole cloves
2 pods cardamom, cracked open
2 whole peppercorns
¾ teaspoon salt
1¾ cups (425 ml) boiling water
1-2 pinches saffron threads or ½ teaspoon turmeric dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water

1. Soak the rice in tepid water for 10 minutes; drain. While the rice is soaking, put half a kettle of water on to boil.
2. Add the oil to a medium, thick-bottomed lidded saucepan, cover and place over moderately high heat. Once hot, add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the rice, bay leaf, cloves, cardamom pods, peppercorns, and salt, and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the boiling water to the rice, turn heat up to high, and bring it to a rolling boil. Give it a stir, cover the pot, turn heat down to very low, and cook 10 minutes (don’t open the lid during this time).
4. After the rice is cooked, let the pot sit with the lid on for 15 minutes, then fluff the rice with a fork. Transfer 1/3 of the rice to a separate bowl.
5. Stir the saffron or turmeric-colored water into 1/3 of the rice (the rice will turn yellow). Mix together the yellow rice and white rice; serve.

Just for fun, here's my photo:

Edible mosaic rice



Bacon & Spinach Souffle


When I found out that this month's First on the First theme was soufflé, I was pumped because that has been a recipe on my bucket list for at least a year. I had never eaten soufflé, so I have no clue why I put it on the list to begin with, but it was something that intrigued me enough to try, so there it sat…and sat, and sat some more. When I finally made this dish (on Halloween…yes, I waited until the last minute), I didn't want to make a huge dish of soufflé since there is only the 2 of us and I wasn't sure how well it would re-heat, so I got to searching and found this base recipe for soufflé for 2. Perfect! I added bacon, because what goes better with eggs than bacon? Paired with a side salad, and this was the perfect light dinner, which left a lot of room for snacking on leftover candy!

1 1/2 tablespoons Butter
Non-stick Cooking Spray
1 1/2 tablespoons Flour
1/2 cup Milk (I used almond milk)
2 eggs, separated
1/4-1/3 cup Grated Cheese (I used swiss)
3-4 Bacon Slices, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup Spinach Leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 teaspoon Ground Mustard
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon White Pepper (I used black)
1/4 teaspoon Cream of Tarter, optional (I used it) 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease 2 1-cup soufflé dishes/ramekins and dust with the parmesan cheese. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. In the meantime, heat the milk in the microwave for 30 seconds. Whisk the milk into the flour mixture, stirring, until thickened. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, mustard, salt, and pepper ad add to the sauce mixture, whisking steadily to avoid scrambling the eggs. Stir in the cheese, melt, and mix thoroughly. Mix in the spinach and bacon and allow to cool at room temperature. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites to medium stiff peaks. If you aren't using a copper egg bowl (I didn't because I had no clue that was even a thing), add the cream of tartar. Thoroughly fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the sauce mixture. Once they are combined, fold in the remaining egg whites. Pour the mixture into the two prepared soufflé dishes and place in the oven. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake for 30-35 minutes, depending on how well done you like your soufflés (30 minutes was perfect for us). Do not open the oven for the first 20 minutes!!

SOURCE: Adapted from


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